Tonight is the start of Yom Yerushalayim, the day we celebrate the unification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. Although most people know of the victory in the war and the emotional reunion of the Jews with the Kotel (the Western Wall), many do not know of the fear of annihilation that preceded it.
From stories that I have heard from older Israelis, the people in Israel were terrified. Thousands of graves were dug in public parks in anticipation of heavy casualties. Children were drilled on what to do during an air raid. My kids receive a bi-weekly magazine, and one of the featured articles this past issue was one by a woman who was a young girl during the war. She shares how her classes at the end of the school year were cut short prematurely, and she contrasts the joy of some of the students at this unexpected holiday and the tension of the adults around her.
All of this came to mind in the past week when I spoke to a friend whose husband does frequent military reserve duty. He told her that there were serious rumors about a war coming during the summer, when all of Israel would be affected (vs. just the north during the Second Lebanon War in 2006). I then saw this article by Carolyn Glick about the need to prepare for war, and this video on PJTV about how Iran (through its proxies in Lebanon and Syria) may be gearing up to do a pre-emptive attack on Israel to supposedly precede our pre-emptive attack on them.
The fact that Hizbullah has been re-arming is not new. Most Israelis knew that another war with them was inevitable. The prevailing mood is calm for now. But it is interesting that these rumors are starting to go around. I plan on keeping an eye on how many men are called up for reserve duty in the near future – usually a sign that things are warming up.